IMTS 2022 opens September 12, showcasing digital tech solving manufacturing’s biggest challenges.

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Manufacturing is back, and Chicago will be the capital, as 90,000 people attend IMTS – the International Manufacturing Technology Show – held September 12-17 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. IMTS is the largest manufacturing technology show in North America. With over 1.21 million square feet of exhibition space representing 1,815 exhibitors, the show showcases digital technologies that offer the fastest and most efficient ways to solve the challenges faced by manufacturers and their suppliers.

Nine technology pavilions will showcase solutions such as multi-functional machining centers, robots/cobots, digital twins, manufacturing software, controls, additive manufacturing and quality control/inspection. More than 75,000 people have already registered for the show, which attracts OEMs, level suppliers, contract manufacturers/factories, job shops, sourcing/purchasing agents, investors, students and technical educators.

“The advances in digital manufacturing technology on display at IMTS 2022 will surprise even industry veterans,” said Peter R. Ellman, chief operating officer of AMT – Manufacturing Technology, owner and producer of IMTS. “If OEMs and job shops can go digital, they should. Digital technology is the best way to increase productivity with the existing talent pool, control costs, make coast-to-coast shipping more attractive, reduce time to market and respond to changing markets.”

Ellman’s affordability and ease of implementation now make advanced solutions accessible to small and medium-sized businesses.

“IMTS exhibits remove barriers to technology acquisition,” said Illman. “For example, visitors can learn how to set up an entry-level automation solution in 30 minutes. Computed tomography inspection systems now operate with push-button simplicity, and digital twin technology is as easy to use as your favorite CNC control or CAD/CAM program.”

Key note providers

Highlights of the event include keynotes at the IMTS+ main stage in the Grand Concourse with industry luminaries at 9:30 am;

  • Monday’s Opening Ceremony: AMT President Douglas K. Woods and Dr. Jochen Koechler, Chairman of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe AG, Hannover, Germany (HANNOVER MESSE USA conference co-presents with IMTS).
  • Tuesday: Stephen Hooper, vice president of design and manufacturing at Autodesk.
  • Wednesday: Barbara Hampton, CEO of Siemens USA, and Tim Shinbara, Chief Technology Officer of AMT.
  • Thursday: Generating USA Network Speakers Dr. Diana Bauer, Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Tracy Frost, Director of the Department of Defense Manufacturing Technology Program; Mike Molnar, founder of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing National Program; and John Wilczynski, executive director at American Mex.
  • Friday: Dr. Jeffrey Ahrstrom, CEO of Ingersoll Machine Tools.

Additional IMTS+ keynote presentations with New American Manufacturing Renaissance founder Andrew Crowe and Hyphen Innovations founder Dr. Onom Scott-Imuakpar on their journey to manufacturing and engaging underserved communities; Presentation of National Metalworking Restoration Award Winners; and a discussion about using robotics to solve manufacturing challenges, featuring executives from Knapheide, FANUC America, Acieta, SCHUNK and Silicon Valley Robotics.

Visual attractions

On Wednesdays at 9:30am, 11:30am and 1:30pm at the McCormick Place Square entrance, Richard Browning, inventor, technologist and founder of Gravity Industries, will fly his patented jet suit over McCormick Square. Jetwool relies heavily on 3D printed parts that save weight. On Thursday at 2:00pm on the IMTS+ Main Stage, Boston Dynamics will be discussing Mobile Robots in Manufacturing and will be showcasing Spot, the popular four-legged robot dog.

AMT’s Emerging Technology Center (ETC) at the North Building entrance features the 23-foot-tall Rosenberg Space Habitat, the world’s tallest 3D-printed polymer structure. ETC will offer live demonstrations of the robotic 3D printing technology used to house the space and the manufacturing technologies used to create the 138-foot-tall Giant Magellan Telescope. IMTS exhibitors Ingersoll Machine Tools (booth #338004) and Siemens Industry (booths #133346 and #433028) have partnered to manufacture the space housing, and Ingersoll is manufacturing the telescope mounting system at its facilities in Rockford, Illinois.

Special programming

The SmartForce Student Conference at IMTS attracts nearly 9,000 STEM students each day, including thousands from schools in the Chicago area. It features more than 60 exhibitors representing the who’s who of technology leaders, offering interactive demonstrations with a strong focus on automation and virtual reality. Presentations in the Smartforce Theater offer professional development sessions for teachers.

IMTS also offers a number of educational conferences and networking events designed to appeal to a very diverse audience. Highlights include:

  • The AM4U stage presented by Formnext, a new event for IMTS, will feature daily presentations on advancing industrial AM into production processes, as well as entrepreneurship and business models. AMT and Gardner Business Media partnered with the organizers of Formnext to launch the Formnext Chicago event in the spring of 2025.
  • The ladies will host a luncheon and reception for the manufacturing movement, both with a full line of vendors.
  • The Job Shops Program covers topics such as talent retention, digitalization of the traditional job shop, marketing, 3D printing for job shops, and Top Shops Award winners and benchmarking programs presented by AMT and Modern Machine Shop Magazine.
  • Symposium on Smart Sourcing for Supply Chain Strategies.
  • The Additive Manufacturing Conference at Garden Business Media.

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